tv Writer Sailor Solider Spy CSPAN August 14, 2017 9:27pm-10:35pm EDT
seven or $50 for her documentary on gender inequality. thank you to all of the students who participated in our 2017 student cam video documentary competition. to watch any of the videos go to student cam.org and student kim 2018 starts in september with the theme, the constitution and you. we're asking students to choose any provision of the u.s. constitution. create a video illustrated why the provision is important. >> book tv continues with former cia officer, nicholas reynolds. he writes about nobel prize-winning novelist, ernest hemingway and his alleged ties to spy craft in his book "writer. sailor. soldiers. spy. ".
[inaudible] >> good evening. hello. welcome. welcome to the fourth evening with authors event. it is nice to have you here. i'm gerrit anderson, member of the board of trustees. been instructed to tell you to please silence your cell phones. feel free to brag about us on social media quietly. [laughter] . .
enter to the left of the stage here then you can exit to the left. you can enter through the stage door behind us. it is a pleasure to welcome you this evening. working in the fields of modern military history and intelligence offered o offering0 years with some unusual detours. a freshman phd from oxford in hand he joined the united states marine corps in the 1970s, serving as an infantry officer and historian. he eventually became officer in charge of history deploying historians around the world to capture history as it was being made.
when not on duty served as a cia officer at home an and a broad interesting himself in the human business of espionage. most recently, he was a historian for the cia museum, responsible for developing strategic planning and helping turn remarkable artifacts into compelling stories. tonight he will talk about his latest book writer, sailor or soldier, spy, 1965 to 1961. the liberation of western europe wartime china america and the cuban revolution is the stunning untold story of the literary icons danger secret life. reynolds currently teaches as adjunct professor for johns hopkins university and with his wife cares for rescued pugs. [laughter]
without further ado please help me welcome nicholas reynolds. [applause] >> thank you very much. it is a pleasure to be here. i am thrilled to see people who want to hear my story. so, basically what i'm going to do is tell you a little bit of the story of the book and then i'm going to go through some parts i speak to that illustrate some of the points that are made in the book and then i can talk about the political implicatio implications. i did not know that we would care about russian espionage at this point.
i was an intelligence officer, but i am not that good. i can talk a little bit about that if you're interested. we've also have questions. i find that ernest is so many things to so many people in many ways to come out his body of work and life and i like to talk about that. so i'm going to take you back to the beginning when i was historian working for this book when i was a historian at the cia museum, which is a tagline for the tuesday on the best museum you ever saw. they've got it on pencils and t-shirts which they may or may not sell. [laughter] so, what we were doing in these memoranda 2010, it is basically a guy that writes content.
think of it as the curator and director, more or less the same person, a great american in charge of the overall production of the museum and basically taking artifacts and stories to tell so that historian goes and research this particular stories behind the artifact lets say you come back from afghanistan with an ak-47 somebody captures and then you've got to come up with a story behind that and that's what you put into the exhibit. anyway, we were putting up a gallery on the oss office of strategic services. it was america's first central intelligence agency all lower case at that point and it was stood up in 1942. america was a late comer to the world of intelligence, the
british established, modern intelligence services around 1909, the soviets just picked up where they had been an and continued the tradition of running the secret service that is making it's way better. so the continental powers also had intelligence. so the u.s. is coming late to the game and in world war ii there is urgency to get things moving. i remember at this point reading a great book. in that book there's ernest
hemingway doing something outside paris and that's what i remembered 30 or 40 years later. but did he have a role in the story. i went to the national archives outside of washington, d.c. where you can search the oss records by name. there's three, this one, his brother, lester, his son jack and those of you, bumpy and jack are the same individual. they all found their way to the oss, and i thought that this was remarkable. each one found his way
separately to the oss and it isn't something like the hemingway's will fit right in here there's a lot of creative and powerful people. just call them the main switchboard of the compound and signed them all up. each of them go thei them got tr separately so i thought that was kind of an interesting data point and i'm thinking in my head is there a story here. i have a great question about how you develop a story. i am a cross between a novelist and maybe a reporter and originally a official historian. am i going to be able to find things to tie this all together and maybe write an article about the hemingway's in world war ii. so i get to the point where it's
the most dramatic and the pattern is different from what we think most people would go right here obelisk, writer, journalist and maybe not go the rest of the way. i found he almost deserted the writing part that he's spending the time on intrigue and this biting and a little bit of ground combat and extend and i'm going but this is different than we are used to. i wonder what's here. so i get to the point i think i've exhausted most of the
sources i could be expected to look at. you've reached the point of diminishing returns and you get pretty good sources that are right on target and then you might find a file comment might find somebody's principal file and then you look at it in someone else's file who might have dealt with hemingway and so on and so forth are returns diminish and then you are getting close to the end of. i thought that i was about the their. one of the hard things about working at the cia is telling people so much of that work is just normal everyday stuff. there is some secret sophisticated intelligence work
there is a lot of great hemingway scholars out there that have written a lot of great books and told a lot of good stories. cut one of thescould one of thes please explain to me what this means for how should i look at ernest hemingway now. what conclusions can i draw from that fact that he signed up in 1940 and 41. there is one book that has a chapter in it that says i didn't find any secondary sources, so you go back to the primary sources and i advocate the
primary sources that would help to tell the story and i eventually got to the point i could satisfy myself about the story that i didn't know if there was interesting enough story to tell the wider audien audience. so the story in a nutshell is the hemingway signed up with the soviets and then didn't become a great sp spying for the soviets. he went and did other exciting things during world war ii but it wasn't really for the soviets. so a lot of people liked when i was trying to market the book initially i get pushback from agents and publishing houses but
he is like somebody that agrees to be james bond but then doesn't follow through. so, i wonder to myself if there was enough of a story to tell in a book come and eventually by taking little tiny pieces of information and putting them together, i gues get to a serief letters that he wrote to his best friend that is an army general and this is before skype, before e-mail and when it was expensive to make long-distance phone calls. so he would write these long letters and talked about his reaction to the politics and political events of the day and she threw in for me and now i'm
sharing it with you, he threw in these references to his time with the soviets. so, when you put all these little pieces together, i think you have a coherent story that starts to expand to 1961 and that's the story i tell in the book. in the q-and-a i can get into the details of any particular part of the story that you might be interested in hearing before now i'm going to take you on illegal excursion. one of the fun things about working on this here, he has an amazingly rich and varied life. he went places and did things. he met people that all of us live to be 100 collectively we would not get to. partly, that is his function of his charisma and
competitiveness. they say he could suck the air out of a room and everybody else becomes far less significant and is also very competitive and once to be a guy and expert and authority. so they work for the state department and they put on their dark suits and go to work and go to meetings and write memos and pass those to the soviets. richard nixon finds out about it. it's not that dramatic
authority. but it's an interesting sophisticated story but not the same kind of story as the hemingway story so i'm going to take you on a little excursion. unlike alger hiss who went to the state department and wrote things down, he goes to war and wants to be the writer of his generation so she goes to the spanish civil war and as a journalist but never just a journalist is a number of things, here he is shortly after he got there in the spring of 1937 but the drama in this picture is a we were not in any
danger at all. but i feel like this is my day job now. and he almost gets killed. but that isn't the only part of the drama. he is with the agent of the communist international is a smart, sophisticated guy and has assigned himself the job not exactly brainwashing earnest, but moving him to the left and making him think in th the commn term than an american writer and up to this point, he was pretty apolitical. his attitude was let me write
don't make me wear fancy cloth clothes. he likes to live in key west because it is cut off from the mainland. anyway, other dramatic things that happen he hangs out with this guy. he had many names and is mostly recognized as alexander and he is a stone killer but also drinking vodka with hemingway and arranging for him to see secret facilities that they don't show to other people. and that is one of the drivers for whom the bell tolls. so the head of the secret
service is one of the men that facilitates him to write one of the greatest political novels of the 20th century for whom the bell tolls. so he winds up living in ohio, believe it or not. and if it is a great story i could tell you if you want me to get into it. here is another character that he runs across. this is a man named jacob. he also works for th the mtbe. he is 5-foot 2 inches. red hair you can't tell in this picture, he has blue eyes and said to have been a real lady killer, not literally but figuratively. and he is one of the lynch pins on the east coast of the united states and is the perfect guide for them to use because he is an
old pushback and starts as an activist way before the revolution and this time and before he's 18 he's been arrested and sentenced to death, banished to siberia and he escapes from siberia by walking east. think about that. he walks to china, and then eventually gets across the ocean and continues doing what he's always done. but now he's a russian soviet revolutionary and has an american passport cities the perfect guy to have as an operative on the east coast. and he's the guy that recruit ernest hemingway that pitches and says we need you to work. we don't know exactly whether he
is too poor for. he would have thought he was for and ernest would have heard he was with. okay, remember this. you're going to hear about them again in a few minutes. this is the rapport on hemingw hemingway. this is a verbatim quote from one of those records. but when it was accessed by the guy that brought it to the united states, he was about to take handwritten notes and then they were transcribed and turned into english. so, there we have hemingway
traveling to china by the soviet union. i am sure he will cooperate with us and do everything he can. so this is the kind of document that drove the book and tells about the soviet espionage in the united states. so, hemingway gets recruited at a time when the u.s. and the soviet union are neither friends nor enemies. it's after the bolshevik revolution and the u.s. and the soviet union had no diplomatic relations. after roosevelt came in in 1933, they established medical relations and the soviet espionage apparatus sought out as a golden opportunity to come to the united states and start recruiting spies and that's what
they did in influencing policy to a certain extent. they are doing this for a couple of reasons. one is they just don't know. russia has always been the great unknown. they are isolated out there in this vast country an and there's smart people there and they figured out the united states as a major player we just don't understand it. they believe what you see is almost never what you get. you have to find out the secrets behind the public policy.
this lady here is martha and this is his third wife. she's only about 40. he has a little bit of reporting to do but basically he is going as a sort of factfinder for the treasury. so if both of us went to china, what are the chances that we wind up with this lady, the wife of the guy that runs china.
so what is the president now if i went to china i don't think the president is going to sit down in the yard and have a cup of tea with me but ernest hemingway has that. this is a guy that peaks early and has these terrific books by the time he's 40 when he is well off and he, people will talk to him, just plain ernest hemingway, please come and talk with me. so she needs her and she speaks great english. her husband does not speak much english at all that she represents him. she's representing the nationalist board in china.
so hemingway gets encouraged with this guy who becomes the premier of china after they take over and stay in that position until he dies in the early 70s. hemingway and his wife was talking to this guy and they think the nationalist chinese are phonies that they think that this guy is the real deal and the wave of the future. not only has he met the president of china but the president of the throne if you will.
the bureau downtown but mostly this is what he wants to do and it's an american cabin cruiser may be two or three times. it's made of wood and mahogany. she bought her the fishing boat but in world war ii. it's not quite as crazy as it sounds. if you look here, he lives in that general region and this is that math from world war ii and it shows the shipping lanes. if you are on the german submarine commanders, look at the targets you might get her out of here.
ernest is going to go looking for them in that region with knowledge and support of the office of naval. so another link to the world of intelligence. they gave him equipment and radio code and that isn't unlike what the navy was doing on the eastern seaboard early in the world when there were not enough ships to go around. it's like what you see in an airport right now if you see something say something. that isn't good enough if you see something you've got to tackle it. so he had a plan. your average german submarine has hundreds of times and advanced classes in that area.
they get published for the american prospect can't help themselves he's got to get involved more deeply. the research i tell you about the book this is the head of the oss in europe. there is ernest and there is the french fighter and that they are conducting tactical intelligence operations outside of paris and ernest did a pretty good job of it. having a drink out of this gentle mans bottle and he has a bottle that says god with us. there's not enough for the one guy while he is a correspondent
exposure in his united states and one of the people who contributes enormously to that is this woman here. talking of all the soviet spies that she knew him mostly the late 30s and early 40s. the reason she knew them was her lover was the guy that recruited hemingway. they live together and kept the files under his bed, under their bed and the media figure that as
a soviet spy. we know he was following these events i don't know i can't say specifically. it shouldn't have been hard for him to make the connection. [laughter] anyway, so the postwar drama is like we had this great adventure in world war ii and now how is it going to get into the rest of my life. so, the last part of the drama
in his life is this. in the early 50s in cuba there's the batista regime which is the right-wing regime. the regime is the right-wing regime that is kind of a cryptography and it is opposed by these guys. he's just a kid. he's likely to 20s, early 30s. so this is kind of another chance at the success that he wanted in spain. he is not initially thought to
be a communist he's hiding it or became a communist leader, i don't know. but he denied repeatedly that he himself is a communist until after he took power. but anyway, ernest is supporting this guy and it's the same calculus that drove him to spain and to the convention are and drove him into the arms of the soviets and anti-fascists and antiauthoritarian attitude. so, what happens next. there's a point in the fighting at a point in the war but it looks like the dictator of cuba has the upper hand and batista reports castro is dead, the revolution is over.
this guy is a friend of hemingway and they work together covering the spanish civil war. he comes to cuba to see if castro is dead and finds out of course he is not and spends two or three days in the mountains with castro, has these amazing interviews with castro and writes a series of articles for "the new york times" that appear before the fold and the revolution continues. the good guys might win after all. of course then castro takes power. he starts and people start falling away, cubans as well and
methods that as a hero in 1957, 58 and 59 and now he is the guy who supported castro and turns out to be a devil. i went and used his paper about columbia university and you can follow him. every time he goes to cuba he is touching base with earnest and they talk about this and he says in his letters ernest and i are 100% on the same sheet of music. the moderates desert him and it's changes to you have enabled this communist monster to take over and this is one of the pieces of hate mail that he ge
gets. after that, i argue this is kind of a pivotal moment or series of events in hemingway's life and eventually leads to the bay of pigs. his home is in cuba. castro writes and tells him you can stay here forever. we don't like the rich americans who run the big factories and live in the gated community. you are one of us but hemingway feels he's got to choose and he winds up leaving cuba. he is ambivalent for a while and thinks maybe i can go back, maybe i can't but after the bay of pigs and the cia led invasion
fails he realizes no, you can't have it both ways. you either have to be american or not. he would never be comfortable saying i want to be just a cuban. he comes close to that but in his heart of hearts he says i'm always an american. so it is a terrible crisis for him. he has to give up all this political involvement that is coming to a head and he has to give up his home in cuba and winds up moving to the states. i describe how that is kind of the part of the spiral in this cascading event, sort of the overlapping pressures that lead to the end of his life. so that is pretty much the story i tell. i'm happy to take questions and
[inaudible] okay. so the question goes to the authenticity of the file that shows hemingway was recruited. there's a couple of ways to look at that. one is hemingway is only a tiny part of the bigger picture and there are historians who've spent their lives on this particular field either soviet espionage in the united states, soviet espionage in general and they've looked at these finals every way you can and come to the conclusion that they are authentic. why would soviets -- my argument
is another way to look at it is this all fits in the context of his life. when you put it altogether there's a progressioall togethev to see which bolsters the claim. the third thing is there is a complicated story on how the files have a complicated history and there's basically two releases. the first was the official release date with the approval of the successor agency of the kgb and be protected his name in that release. so in the unofficial release that we have here, his name gets exposed. so the fact that this is something they were trying to protect to me says that it is genuine. this man all the way in the back.
>> [inaudible] i am aware of that. i haven't focused a lot on that. my impression of his attitude in the 20s and early 30s is that he was basically apolitical. i mean, he's not really taken sides one way or another. he says numerous times politics is for other people. it's only after that it changes. the changes. yes sir, right there.
>> [inaudible] >> great question. get hemingway pass any significant information. they answer that in the files and had no. they said he was willing to speak to them. he told them he would help them but he never produced the goods. so the argument i make in the book is he basically had buyers remorse. it's kind of the difference between dating and getting married. you meet them, have a drink with them and i will do that for you. he did little chores for the soviets in spain and then dating
leads to a formal relationship as i said during the talk the soviet ideology we are going to talk them what to do now and structured this relationship so we can say we need you to go do x. or y. and talk to so and so and find out what he thinks. once he marries the soviets as far as i can tell almost immediately it was great fun when they were dating that -- [laughter] i'm not sure i like being married to. [laughter] one of the things that makes this interesting i think is the other soviet spies in washington are conventional spies. they have access to official
secrets that they are sworn to protect. they copy them and carry them over to that case officer who sends them to moscow. so has no official access to the secrets and is a spy in with the soviets have in mind for him is less clear-cut. it's like can you go see if so and so might be willing to support this position or can you find out if the president is willing to change his policy on spain. he has a terrific rolodex as i suggested earlier. people talk to him. i think that is one of the uses that the soviets had for him but he never did it.
if you have a file that discusses him as an operative. when we talk about the relationship with david bruce outside of paris that is unofficial and they run into each other on the battlefield and they are both headed to the same place and say let's work together for a week or two weeks they did a fabulous job of running the tactical operations.
[inaudible] it is complicated and goes back to his wife martha saying the war is in europe it is not in cuba. we are journalists. we cover the war. we need to get over there and he says now i'm running anti-submarine operations here. [laughter] and they have these really -- there's a lot of conflict between the two. so she goes over by herself and
runs into an oss guy who had worked in cuba and she says it, if you get her on the payroll double-dip and out of cuba. so, martha generates this traffic that goes to the headquarters. so she's trying to save their marriage by signing him up for the oss. i think he never knew. i don't think he ever knew what martha had done. yes, right there. >> [inaudible] >> okay. i am a humbled historian. there's a lot of stuff out there by people that are smarter than the on medical issues. his articles on traumatic brain injury and depression.
this partial release of his files at the mayo clinic at least unofficial release. he had electroshock therapy. my argument is all of these pressures built up. so there's the history of depression, the family, there's the physical. he banged his head repeatedly on accident. i wonder if this is not his fault. he's just at the wrong place at the wrong time. i can think right at the top of my head for major blows to the head.
if you don't do a good job you are in trouble because you are a threat so it is a master at his trade and 1938 he gets a cable saying you've got to come home and he knows and does not doing it so he takes the money out of this cashbox. he's got his wife and daughter with him at the post and he goes to canada at the national archives down in washington.
he says he is going to be transferred to the state and they gave him a visa. so this is 1938 he goes to america and spend some time in new york and winds up eating corn flakes. he knows if he raises his head, stalin will find him and had a record of finding opponents overseas and having them killed. there is a guy that committed suicide, defect or committed ded suicide, in quotation marks in washington, there's the famous case in mexico in 1940. subpoenas as long as stalin is alive, he will find him carry it
keeps his head down until 1953 and then starts writing articles about what a bad guy he was for life magazine. and j. edgar hoover one day read this thread in life magazine and says this and the fbi depends on him. it is an amazing story. his problem is not with communism or killing people, it's with stalin and stalin deciding to kill him. [laughter] so he stays a true believer and loyal. he could have told, he could have gone to the fbi or the cia and he could have told them about if not hundreds, at least tens of important operations are still going on. but it didn't.
he kept his mouth shut and just lived quietly in the united states and loyal to his own organization and to his wife they came calling and to send a guy on a residence to her in new york to say we did an analysis. we realized you knew about the cases and we are still running them, so you didn't tell the americans it's okay, come home if you want. and he says no, i'm too old. i will just stay here but thanks for dropping by. [laughter] ..
give certain information but it doesn't say i think you're conservative i will keep showing you that but i will surely it things to the people that you know, . then they start clicking on those things and then show you more of that. and then they would not have this conversation . >> this is a transition period and city group plays a major role the way the cities can change their representative democracies as a machine to change what is going on. >> looking at the it will be
weighed epidemic. who is suing several drug companies. this drug is pervasive and communities and cities and most affluent suburbs. >> you said at the very beginning of the confirmation we are a constitutional democracy and has a role to play to set those boundaries that will make the judiciary and unpopular and set of people and that you cannot do that that is not within your constitutional powers